Eric Tweedale Stadium was the venue for the third edition of the combined NSWJRU U10 & U11 State Gala, proudly supported by The Rugby Club Foundation. We were hosted by the fabulous folks of Two Blues Rugby and Cumberland Council.
A total of 64 teams of boys and girls made it an enormous weekend and celebration of rugby.
The NSWJRU State Gala is a round robin format which has no finals - it is purely for the experience and the enjoyment of the game at a junior Rep development level.
But we do have some traditional shields that were historically awarded when these age groups did contest finals in the past. These have now been amended to a 'Spirit of Rugby' award format. For the Under 10s this is the Dr John George ‘Spirit of Rugby’ Shield and for the Under 11s the G.R.Paton ‘Spirit of Rugby’ Shield.
The Shields are now awarded to the team (and their supporters) that showed the greatest ‘Rugby Spirit’ over the weekend. This is a unique award that takes no notice of results on the field but more of the attitude and behaviour shown by the team and their supporter cohort over the weekend. We feel this truly reflects the ethos of what this carnival is about.
It sends the message to the coaches and supporters that THEIR actions on the sideline and around the event have a direct impact on the team’s ability to win these awards. We don't know of any other awards like it.
And it was effective as the whole weekend was played and supported in exactly the fashion we wanted - an awesome celebration of the game.
The U10 Dr John George 'Spirit of Rugby' Shield was won by Hunter & Illawarra.
The U11 G.R.Paton 'Spirit of Rugby' Shield was won by Penrith & Western Plains